Making Life Extraordinary with Creativity Speaker Chris Baréz-Brown


Exclusive Interview with: Chris Baréz-Brown

Creativity and innovation guru Chris Baréz-Brown helps leaders and other professionals make better decisions by feeling more. The best-selling author and founder of the creative leadership consultancy “Upping Your Elvis” is driving a worldwide campaign to get people to live more conscious, creative, and fulfilling lives. His most recent project Wake-Up! – a book, app, and workshop – has energized thousands of people, teaching them how to tap into their subconscious and reconnect with their inner genius through a series of easy-to-do exercises and experiments.

We don’t need to change to be brilliant and successful – we just need to reconnect with who we really are.

SPEAKING.COM: You believe that “everyone is perfect.” What do you mean by that?

BAREZ-BROWN: Every one of us has everything we need right now to be brilliant at what we do, but we often lose touch with what it is that makes us special and unique. We socialize to the ‘norms’ so that we feel like we fit into the business culture. In this process, we lose our shine. We don’t need to change to be brilliant and successful – we just need to reconnect with who we really are.

SPEAKING.COM: Your latest book, Wake-Up, aims to help people escape autopilot and live more conscious and extraordinary lives. How much time does the average person spend on autopilot?

BAREZ-BROWN: It is estimated that the average person spends around 80% of their time on autopilot, which is a staggering amount! As our lives get busier and overstimulated through technology demands, autopilot tends to increase since we rely on habits and routines to simplify our lives and help block out the noise.

SPEAKING.COM: How does spending so much time on autopilot affect our lives?

BAREZ-BROWN: Autopilot is our bodies’ clever way of saving energy. We need it to survive! If we did everything from first principles we would be exhausted. It helps us with our simple daily routines.

The challenge, though, is that we are on autopilot far too often, at work and while living our lives, and it stops us from flexing to fit the situation we find ourselves in. Hence, we always do what we have always done and miss the boundless opportunities we have around us every day. Days, weeks and even years fly by, and life starts to feel rather dull.

To be a great creative, we need to be able to answer the question, “what’s needed here?” Today is unique and therefore yesterday’s answer will not work.

SPEAKING.COM: What does getting off autopilot have to do with creativity?

BAREZ-BROWN: To be a great creative, we need to be able to answer the question, “what’s needed here?” Today is unique and therefore yesterday’s answer will not work. We need to escape autopilot to have clarity and focus and to be able to come up with creative approaches that work the best today. We also need to experience varied stimulus when being creative so we need to by definition break habits and routines to have great ideas.

SPEAKING.COM: What are some exercises you recommend to help people get off autopilot?

BAREZ-BROWN: My favourites include:
• spending the first 10 mins outside every day, phone free and getting clarity on the one big thing that I want to achieve.
• doing 20 press ups every time I need to go to the bathroom.
• taking 3 long deep breaths every time I look at my watch.

SPEAKING.COM: Another one of your specialties is getting business leaders and professionals out of their heads and feeling more. What role is there for emotions in the workplace?

BAREZ-BROWN: Emotions are key to life! They add richness, satisfaction and help us listen to what’s going on. We feel when we care. Emotions are our subconscious communicating with us, so they let us know when things are deeply right or deeply wrong. If we ignore them, then we will often regret it as our journey will head in a direction that doesn’t fit who we are.

It’s not that logic is bad – it definitely has its place – but feelings need to be taken into account, as well. They are an important guide to getting what is right for you, in business and life.

SPEAKING.COM: How do you connect with highly analytical clients who are weary of letting emotions influence business decisions?

BAREZ-BROWN: This is a situation that often occurs with clients and their teams. First, be empathetic to their point of view. But the crucial question that helps them make that leap is ‘How do you make most of the biggest decisions in life, like getting married, having a family, buying a house?’ They will all admit to listening to their feelings as well as logic. It’s not that logic is bad – it definitely has its place – but feelings need to be taken into account, as well. They are an important guide to getting what is right for you, in business and life.

SPEAKING.COM: Where does intuition come from and how do we know if we can trust it?

BAREZ-BROWN: Intuition is simply another perspective; that of our subconscious which has a huge amount of processing power. I wouldn’t just trust my intuition if it wanted me to jump out of a plane without a parachute even if the idea felt great; we need some logical overlay. However, often when deciding on things, intuition plays an invaluable role in helping us consider other options and seeing things in different ways.

SPEAKING.COM: Prior to your work as a speaker and consultant, you had a successful career in brand management, but you didn’t feel “delighted.” How did you decide you were in the wrong line of work and that your feeling wasn’t just a phase or a sign that you needed to change your approach to the work you were doing?

BAREZ-BROWN: I had an itch and the itch wouldn’t go away! I tried everything – talking to my boss and colleagues, changing jobs, changing my living situation – but nothing could stop it. Eventually, I felt compelled to go big and take a leap of faith! And I am delighted that I did!

SPEAKING.COM: After you left your job in brand management, you almost immediately got on a plane and began a journey of discovery. Could you tell us what happened on that trip and how it got you to where you are now?

BAREZ-BROWN: I headed to New Zealand first, travelled and absorbed the glory! It was like being freed from self-imprisonment. I could do anything I wanted and notice where it took me.

Before long I realized that certain experiences gave me more energy than others. Being lost in nature was energetically rewarding but what gave me the most amazing buzz, was helping people who were a little lost – those who were struggling to find answers. I became intensely aware that people are my fascination and helping them unlock part of their life puzzle was what I was meant to do.

To bring creativity and innovation speaker Chris Baréz-Brown to your organization, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com

© SPEAKING.com, published on June 17, 2018

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